Security Deposit For rentals

6 Replies

I just recently purchased a house that I’m going to use as rental property. This is my first one and have some questions. 1. How much should you charge for security. 2. Where can you get credit scores and rental background checks from and is there a fee ? 3 What is the going rate for two bedroom house. No a/c and no garage. Big backyard Thanks for the help !

1. At least one month's rent. I have a scale and charge a higher deposit for higher-risk tenants. But even the best applications are charged equal to a month's rent.

2. Do a Google search for "Tenant application screening" and you'll find plenty of options.

3. You have to learn your local market to know the answer. It would rent for $1,200 in my market, $4,000 in San Francisco, and $800 in Cleveland.

Goto rentometer.com type in the beds and bath you have and your zip code.  It will give you a median going price for that type of rental in your area.

Also look on craigslist or apartments.com for similar listings to see what other properties are charging and what amenities they include.  What condition is your property compared to the photos in that listing?  This will give you an idea if your property is on par, below or above average for your area.

If you want to take it a step further make an appointment for a walk through with one of the units.  Be upfront with the landlord, never know thay may become a great partner one day.

We have just rented out 2  1 bedroom units & for screening tenants we used Naborly. Cost  us nothing. Did credit check, work history, rental history. Its all online. If the tenant is interested they have to fill out the application forms online & Naborly spits out a fairly deatiled report within a few hours. Its great. I believe they try to contact the prospective tenants to try & sell them tenant's insurance. Note: I am in Southern Ontario.

@Charles Hetrick it is better to stay vacant a little longer than place the wrong tenant so make sure you do not compromise on 1 and 2. 3 you can compromise a bit on and it won't be the end of the world. 1 and 2 will leave you very unhappy if you do

@Charles Hetrick please RUN out and buy the bigger pockets book on Managing Rental Properties (yellow cover from Amazon or here). It answers your question along with the 100 other questions you didn’t know you should be asking. (I don’t get anything from this - but it helped me get off on the right foot as a new landlord)